Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

shell lei (necklace)
  • unknown Kanaka Maoli (Hawaiian) maker
  • shell lei (necklace), late 1800s–1980
  • Where object was made: Niihau, Hawaii, United States
  • ni'ihau shell, shell, string, fiber?
  • Object Length/Width: 34 x 4.5 cm
    Object Length/Width: 13 3/8 x 1 3/4 in
  • Gift of Fritz W. Forbes
  • Not on display
  • 2007.4010

The four strand necklace is made of small red shells. The strands are joined at one cowrie-like shell that appears to be stuffed with a cotton-like fiber.